A LOOK BACK AT JANUARY:
January is probably the worst time to challenge yourself to eat seasonally, and healthily! The weather is so un-conducive to salads, juices, smoothies…All I want at this time of year is biscuits, tea, cake and coffee. Not a great start to a healthier new year! To top that off the garden has slowed down, with only a few survivors in the root vegetables and cabbages.
We have been eating some-what seasonally-we had a delicious pot roast pheasant one night and have been finishing off the cabbages, beetroots and other root veg that were still producing. Our fall-back meals have definitely been based around stews (easy to use what’s at hand) and roasts. It does help that my husband and I run our own farm so we have access to local, grass fed meat (rose veal and kid goat since you asked). That made things in the last month much easier.
I have also been drinking a super-smoothie weekly. This contains a truly un-local and unseasonal combo of avocado, turmeric, ginger, blueberries (!), chia seeds, lucuma and maca powder and lemon juice. I’m a hypocrite I know but sometimes you just need something sunny and nutritious! And when I was battling against that horrible cough that was going around I found my anti-flu juice of ginger, garlic and turmeric a life-saver when mixed with warm water and honey. I also made my own anti-bacterial chest rub from a mixture of essential oils and it definitely helped.
An example of our average January menu:
Breakfasts: Almost always a poached egg on homemade bread toasted and cup of tea.
Lunch: Leftovers and some Irish cheese. Sometimes I made Anna Jones Chickpea and Lemon soup-very yummy and easy!
Dinner: We tended to go for very hearty, warming suppers.Curry from scratch weekly and then a full roast on a Monday (as we work on a Sunday). Stews were definitely our fall back dish and we made one at least weekly! I also cooked a lot from Jamie Oliver’s new book Everyday Superfood. See below for review.
I chose Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Superfood as my January cookbook. It’s a very good looking, glossy book with the breakfast section being the stand out in my opinion. I think I will revisit this in summer when lighter meals would be more suitable. I found little inspiration here (bar the breakfast chapter), and craved my River Cottage cookbooks and caved and used Anna Jones “A Modern Way to Eat” often for vegetarian suppers. Here’s what we cooked from Jamie’s book:
Chicken Cacciatore: A hearty, warming rich meal. Yummy.
Super Food Protein Loaf: A savoury loaf made with chickpea flour. Would make again.
Skinny Carbonara: This had good bright flavours but don’t think you’re getting carbonara, at all!
Steak and herby jewelled rice: Charlie loved this but I really found it too fragrant.
Coming Next month: February Seasonal Challenge.
I’m choosing The River Cottage Year by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (aka my favourite cookbook of all time!) as I feel I need a sympathetic cookbook to the barren February garden! Check back here for details on how this month went!